The Do’s and Don’ts of New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time again when people take stock of their lives during the last year—whether on a personal or career level. Some set goals for the next year and make resolutions to reinforce the idea. In fact, 45% of Americans typically make resolutions each year. However, only about 46% of these resolutions make it to the six-month mark. If you’re making a resolution or two this year—and want them to stick—try these ideas for both making and keeping your goals throughout the year.

Do write down your goals and put them in places you will see everyday. Having a constant reminder—everywhere you go—helps to keep goals at the forefront of your mind.

Don’t expect everything to change right away. So that Kim Kardashian body or that perfect credit score won’t happen in a week. That’s okay! Goals are something you work toward achieving!

Do start with small changes. Little changes can become big changes over time. For example, if you want to lose the weight, forget the soda and just take a walk. If you start by trying to keep up with the body builder at gym, frustration is likely to stop you in your tracks.

Don’t make unattainable plans. Learn your strengths and weaknesses and work within them. If you are not a morning person don’t plan on waking every morning at 4 a.m. for a jog. You won’t last long. Instead try a jog at lunchtime or even just start on jogging on your days off.

Do create a concise plan. To reach a specific goal you need a specific plan. Without that, it’s difficult to make headway or even know where you are on your path towards your goal. Write it out and read it often.

Don’t get discouraged. We all fall off the wagon—the trick is to get back on. Things happen that may cause you to fall back into the old habits—and that is to be expected— but don’t allow that to take away from previous progress. Just learn from that experience and persevere.

Do get others involved. People around you are likely to have similar resolutions. Team up with them or join a community (online or off) that will offer support and encouragement.

Don’t surround yourself with temptation. Stay away from anything that can lead to your downfall. For instance, if you’re trying to get your financial house in order, carry a set amount of cash with you when you’re out, or just one credit card.

Do make it fun! Listen to music while working or starting a new hobby—it can help you transition away from an old habit (like being a couch potato or a procrastinator) and start a new one off on the right note!

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